Now may not be the best time to admit this, but I don’t like snickerdoodles. I never have and sadly, I don’t think I ever will. But I have received many a request for a snickerdoodle recipe. And I happen to have a husband whose favorite cookie in the entire world (seriously, the entire world!) is a snickerdoodle. Seriously, how did we ever get together?

Brian begs me constantly to make the almighty snickerdoodle and selfish woman that I am, I rarely do (favoring a good chocolate chip cookie over a snickerdoodle any day). However, I decided to work with his love language (oh wait, you didn’t know the sixth love language was snickerdoodles? That’s weird…) and finally make them again for him. In the past, when I’ve made the cookie, even Brian has admitted he is underwhelmed with the flavor and texture (since I am not a good judge). However, this time? Well, Brian declared these the jackpot of all snickerdoodle cookies. They have the characteristic tart flavor from the cream of tartar and the chewy, outer crispiness of a really great snickerdoodle.

Two important notes: 1) don’t leave out the cream of tartar or it really isn’t an authentic snickerdoodle and 2) I’m afraid for all of you, like me, that hate using shortening in cookie recipes, that you just have to buckle down and do it this time. I’ve tried all-butter snickerdoodle recipes and I have to humble myself and admit that shortening is necessary here. If I can do it, you can do it.

Please don’t be like me. Love the snickerdoodle. Embrace the snickerdoodle. Make the snickerdoodle. And eat the snickerdoodle. I’m sure your life will be much better than mine because of it.


One Year Ago: Cowboy Cookies
Two Years Ago: Double Chocolate M&M Cookies
Three Years Ago: Samoas Bars

Classic Snickerdoodles

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Classic Snickerdoodles


    For the cookies:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • For the coating:
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 (11X17-inch) rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, silpat liners or lightly coat with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat together the butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and mix until well incorporated. Reduce the speed of your mixer (stand mixer or handheld) and add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
  2. In a small bowl or shallow plate, combine the cinnamon and granulated sugar to coat the cookies. Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and roll in the cinnamon an dsugar to coat. Place the balls of dough about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are light golden brown and the centers are soft and puffy, about 9-11 minutes. The cookies will flatten after they come out of the oven. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated

74 Responses to Classic Snickerdoodles

  1. Anissa says:

    I am 12 and my friend is 10. We love your recipes and have made pretty much all of your desserts! Tonight we got a request from our families to make snickerdoodles, so we used your recipe. We were told they were perfect and got great reviews! Soft middle, crispy outside, warm and fresh… thanks so much for the great recipes!

  2. Chloe says:

    I am 12 and my friend is 10. We love your recipes and have made pretty much all of your desserts! Tonight we got a request from our families to make snickerdoodles, so we used your recipe. We were told they were perfect! Soft middle, crispy outside, warm and fresh… thanks so much for the great recipes!

  3. Jacob says:

    Absolutely amazing! Indescribable! My roommates and I love them. The first batch was already gone before the second came out of the oven!

  4. Annie says:

    We raise pastured hogs and the leaf lard (from around the organs) is supposedly very valued for baking – certainly what would have been used in days past prior to the invention of hydrogenated fats! Anyway, I’m going to try these with leaf lard! Everyone loves snickerdoodles here 🙂

  5. Kamber says:

    Thanks for this one, Mel. I’m like you – – snickerdoodles are definitely not my favorite. But my kids love them, and so does my husband. I especially appreciate your note about the shortening. I’ve been using an all butter recipe and this was much improved! 🙂

  6. Lori says:

    I’ve never really liked snickerdoodles either, until I tried this all butter kind. I know you said you really need the shortening, but not in these. These are the first ones I actually had a desire to make again, and again. All butter and it cuts the cream of tarter way down so it’s not such a presence.

  7. Jill Figgins says:

    My husband, like you, would prefer a chocolate cookie over a snickerdoodle most days but I found this browned butter snickerdoodle recipe that is amazing. He likes them and everyone I have made them for loves the recipe. My sister said they are what every other snickerdoodle wished they could be and my sis-in-law made them twice the week after I gave her the recipe. If your hubby is a snickerdoodle lover you need to make them for him.

  8. Linda R says:

    Just made these! I was looking for something sweet and simple, but I didn’t have many ingredients to work with. I’ve never been a big fan of snickerdoodles, but these turned out great! I added an extra tbsp of all purpose flour because it was slightly too wet to roll into balls, and had to sub marg for the butter. They turned out thicker than what you have pictured, but they cooked up perfectly, light and fluffy inside, nice n crispy outside. Will definitely make these again!

  9. Mel, these look delish, but I have an aversion to shortening. So I was forced to perfect an all-butter snickerdoodle. I’d love to have you try them, but I understand you might not want to since you don’t really like snickerdoodles and Brian is thrilled with this recipe. We must please these picky husbands! (Maybe they should get together and have one of those “My wife’s snickerdoodles kick your wife’s snickerdoodles’ butts” contests!)

    • Mel says:

      Hey Jean – would love to try your recipe! If nothing else, it will make Brian very happy to have snickerdoodles in the house. 🙂

  10. Megan says:

    Hi Mel!

    These are delicious– they’ve gotten rave reviews from my husband! Do you think they would freeze well?

  11. Laura says:

    We didn’t have any shortening or real butter, so I substituted both for margarine (and slightly reduced the salt in the recipe). I had to keep running my hands under cold water every 2 or 3 cookies to keep the dough from sticking to me, even after I chilled the dough a little. It was almost more of a frosting consistency than a dough. This was my first time making snickerdoodles, though, so I was wondering: Is this normal? Is it the margarine? What am I missing?

    They came out perfectly though, and even my sweets-hating boyfriend went back for more, so the sticky dough was worth it 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Hi Laura, I’m guessing the sticky issues are related to subbing in margaraine for the shortening and butter. The fats used in a cookie, especially these where they’ve been tested with shortening and butter, can definitely affect texture. The dough isn’t that sticky when I make them with shortening and butter (soft but not sticky). Glad they worked out well in the end, though!

      • Laura says:

        Tried them again with the butter and shortening – very easy to roll in my hands, not sticky at all, and came out perfect 🙂 just wanted to let you know

  12. Brigida says:

    Having never eaten a Snickerdoodle before, but always wanting to try them because they’re constantly mentioned on TV and in movies, I decided to try this recipe. And oh my goodness, these are heavenly! They’re definitely entering my (usually chocolate-chip cookie laden) baking rotation. Thanks!

  13. Jamie says:

    My husband hates snickerdoodles too, but I made this recipe and for the first time ever he went back for a second! Thank you!

  14. momofluke says:

    Brown Sugar Snickerdoodle = life changing
    For your anniversary you should make these for your hubby:
    i make the same recipe without the cream of tartar..good either way
    Also – get some Penzy’s cinnamon – you can order online:

    Thanks so much for the website – found so many recipes i want to try! Even considering grinding my own flour…..

  15. Jolie says:

    Wow, these cookies turned out fantastic! They melt in your mouth. Although I always prefer a chocolate chip cookie over any other one, my neighbor is getting married and requested Snickerdoodles for the rehearsal dinner. So…I’m baking 100 of these wonderful cookies! Thanks for the recipe.

  16. I don’t like using shortening, either. I wonder how it would do to use coconut oil. I use that in almost everything. I’ve been wanting to make some Snickerdoodles. I made the Brown Butter Snickerdoodles last week. They were good, but not as good as the original.

  17. judi says:

    I was craving snickerdoodles and chose your recipe. they were just perfect! Just the recipe I was looking for. thank you.

  18. Tyler says:

    This is almost the same recipe that I use except mine has 1/4 Cup more flour. And you are right… Cream of tartar gives snickerdoodles their signature tang (as it is an acid). Also… I don’t like flat snickerdoodles… you must use part shortening to have them turn out a little more puffy and moist. I don’t like it either, for frying and adding a little to my swiss buttercream to help it hold its shape, thats it… oh and when I make practice icing for my cake decorating classes.

  19. Anissa says:

    Truly awesome cookies. Thanks!

  20. Leilani says:

    Made these tonight and they are snickerliciouus. I added 1/2 tsp. of vanilla. Rest followed exactly. The texture is exactly as stated: crisp yet chewy.

  21. I haven’t made Snickerdoodles in years! They were the first cookie I ever made by myself (in middle school) and haven’t made a batch since college. I think I am going to have to make these ASAP because I won’t be able to get that craving out of my head until I do!

  22. Peggy says:

    added note, i didn’t read your entire note, you do say that it isn’t a real Snickerdoodle without C of tartar—I agree. just curious, what type of Shortening do you use? My mother, as I said, makes really good ones. She uses Mazola Corn Oil for the Shortening, makes real good cookies. Also, i can’t remember if you mention CHILLING the dough. My mother chills several hours,. or Over night. To me, it makes aBig difference

  23. Peggy says:

    my mother makes really good Snickerdoodles. i have always said that a Snickerdoodle isn’t a real Snickerdoodle without Cream of Tartar. i talked to a friend recently who said that she has never cared for them, either. I think she doesn’t like the taste that the Cream of tartar gives. Some people say thast it gives it a taste they don’t care for. I recently checked the Computer. Martha Stewart has a recipe for Snickerdoodles Without the Cream of Tartar. i read the reviews, some like it better withoutb the cream of Tartasr. it could be that you are one who would prefer it Without it. Again, Martha stewarts Snickerdoodles. i think she has a version with and without cream of tartar. if you like Sugar cookies and cinnamon, it could be that you are one who would like it without. i prefer it with C of tartar, but, to each his/her own.

  24. Stacie says:

    Made these this morning. Delicious! I didn’t have any shortening on hand, so I used all butter and they were still great. It was hard to tell when they were done… so I may have over baked them for a minute, but it didn’t affect the taste. Yum!

  25. Rebecca says:

    Made these last night and though they did not look quite like yours – not quite as puffy, they were so good. I would not ever choose a snickerdoodle either, but we live in Africa, with very few “special” ingredients, so these are perfect for us and our many visitors. My son who has a hard time finishing even one cookie EVER, asked for a third helping. I am calling these a huge success. 🙂

  26. Cammee says:

    Oh my heart, I am in love with that picture! How are you getting anything done with that sweetie around?

    I can now let go of the guilt I feel each time you post a chocolate recipe. I’ll eat my snickerdoodles, you eat your chocolate :).

  27. Just made these for my 5 yr old’s school party. YUM! I also made the Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas last night and my husband and kids were in heaven. Thanks for the awesome recipes!

  28. Just made these for my 5 yr old’s school party. Amazing! So excited to try more recipes on here. I also made the Honey Lime Enchiladas last night and my husband said, “These are SOOOOOOO good.” My 5 yr old said it was her favorite meal. Keep them coming! Thanks so much!

  29. denise says:

    I made these tonight and my husband said, “These are the way snicker doodles are supposed to taste!!” Thanks for sharing!

  30. Chris says:

    I really like snickerdoodles and, like you and a lot of the commenters above, I don’t like to use shortening. But it’s true, the texture is just not right without shortening. I guess that’s why I’ve been making everything BUT snickerdoodles here in the past 6 months or so…

  31. Charlotte Moore says:

    Looks good!!!

  32. Shannon says:

    Love the picture of your “fuzzball”! Adorable!

  33. Diane says:

    I’m sure your snickerdoodles are delicious to those of us who love snickerdoodles… but really, that fuzzball lovebug of yours is SO deliciously cute. Thanks for sharing a little bit of her with us.

  34. I love snickerdoodles and yours look perfect, Mel. Congratulations again on your new precious little bundle! What a blessing!

  35. Sarah says:

    I love snickerdoodles and so I’ll try this for sure! And soon. And that picture? SO CUTE! Fuzzball of a lovebug is right!

  36. grace says:

    i can’t believe you don’t like snickerdoodles–how unexpected and surprising! it’s kind of you to make them anyway, mel–you’re a doll. 🙂

  37. Mel, I love your website. I’m presenting an award to your blog! Come check it out:

  38. Wow! I love snickerdoodles! These look great! I will be trying these this week!

  39. Confession: I make a whole grain, all butter snickerdoodle. I can’t help it. I just can’t do shortening.

    That being said, your cookies look way lighter and fluffier than mine. 🙂

    Enjoy your baby! Found you via tastespotting!!!

  40. Holly W says:

    Mel, you sound just like me! I do not cook with shortening ever and I despise snickerdoodles. However, like another commenter, if ever I need to make them I will turn to your recipe. Your baby girl is adorable. I’m thrilled for you and your family of boys! :o)

  41. Debra Kapellakis says:

    I will eat some of your snickerdoodles and try not to feel envious that my little (fuzzball of a lovebug) ones are too big for snuggling anymore..

  42. Annette says:

    Your baby is so precious and blessed with an abundance of hair! I commend you on your blog, recipes, taking care of your children and husband and running a household. How do you find the time to still add to your blog with a new baby on board! You should be given a “Woman of the Year Award” for all that you do not just for your family but your readers/followers as well!

  43. Lori says:

    OMG…cutest baby girl EVER!!!

    And it must be a guy thing…my DH always asks for Snickerdoodles too!

  44. Mimi says:

    Ha! I’m totally laughing right now because Snickerdoodles are my husband’s all-time favorite cookie too. While I don’t hate them like you, I definitely prefer a chocolate chip cookie any day! And, since I don’t make sweets all that often, why would I waste a baking day on Snickerdoodles when I could make a delicious chocolate chip one? This happened Sunday. I was SO close to making the snickerdoodle, but just couldn’t do it. I made your whole wheat chocolate chip/oatmeal cookies instead (my favorite – and they’re healthy because they have wheat flour, right!?). I put peanut butter and milk chocolate chips in them and they were heaven on earth. I’m glad you’re loving your little one! We’re hoping to have a little angel join our family some time in the next few weeks. 🙂

  45. Brittany C. says:

    What a doll!! I Love all that hair.
    I love me a good snickerdoodle and they happen to be my brother’s favorite cookie of all time as well. I’m taking dinner into them on Wednesday, my niece has been hospitalized for a week, and these will for sure be on the menu!!

  46. Amber says:

    I’m sooo with you on this one. I don’t care for snickerdoodles at all! If I ever have to make them though, I’m coming here for the recipe!

  47. Christy says:

    Yay for Baby Girls! Congrats! I had to wait a long time for my girl too…totally worth it. She’s gorgeous!

  48. Tricia says:

    I really enjoy snickerdoodles but often forget about them until the holidays. At Christmas we add cinnamon to the dough and roll the cookie balls in green or red colored sugar bafore baking to make them festive.

  49. Rita says:

    Snickerdoodles are my husband’s and son’s favorite cookie. Thanks for the recipe.

  50. Joanna H. says:

    Yay…..another snickerdoodle despiser! I have never liked them from day one. Oh my, that picture is just about the cutest thing ever. Have fun, and thanks for the recipes while you are on break!

  51. Lori says:

    Mel, I like you don’t do the shortening thing. However, I recently discovered a non-hydrogenated shortening that has been great. It is made from palm oil. You can buy it on the Tropical Traditions website or I found a Spectrum brand at our local natural foods market. Happy snuggling that cute little pink bundle!

  52. Elizabeth says:

    These are one of my favorite types of cookies!

  53. Shannon says:

    Snickerdoodles are almost a waste of calories for me because they are just meh. I don’t know what it is, but I will probably pass. However, if I need a good recipe for them, now I know where to turn (this is always where I go anyway). Cutest baby girl with tons of hair you have! I have baldies too! I like the suggestion of Chocolate snickerdoodles. I might actually try those.

  54. Courtney says:

    My favorite cookie from childhood! Thanks for the recipe. I will make them soon.

  55. Katie G says:

    Try Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles! Just add cocoa and almond flavoring. You might like them.

  56. Yum! It’s true, shortening is necessary for tender, chewy cookies. I cringe a little too.

  57. gail says:

    Oh she is such a sweet little thing. You must be soo happy!

  58. Judy F. says:

    It’s a giggle how so many of us don’t enjoy snickerdoodles. I think it is the cream of tartar that puts me off. But that baby is totally kissable. Such a cute picture! I am envious of all that hair – mine were always next to bald for months.

  59. Kathy says:

    That photo of the lovebug brought actual tears to my eyes! Gorgeousness!!

  60. I haven’t had a snickerdoodle in the longest time and I don’t know why because I love them! Thanks for a great recipe! I know what I’ll be doing in just a little while.

  61. Brooke says:

    Love all the hair on that baby girl, bet it’s soft as down.
    Snickerdoodles used to be my favorite cookie… I haven’t had them in years, maybe its time to bake some up and see if the love is still there! Thanks for the recipe, if you posted it … I know its a goodie!

  62. Tanya says:

    I’m so glad I’m not alone! Everyone looks at me like I’m crazy when I refuse snickerdoodles. I have an extreme love for cinnamon but even cinnamon can’t save this cookie. Im tempted to make your recipe though because I’ve never made anything from your site that wasn’t short of amazing! But maybe I’ll just follow your lead and snuggle my seven week old baby boy. =]

  63. sara says:

    I’m so glad to know this about you, because I don’t like snickerdoodles either, and thought surely I was the only one! Virtual hugs to your precious babe…

  64. I love snickerdoodles!! This is going on the to-make list!! Btw–I just made your lemon crinkle cookies for my office and everyone absolutely loved them. I could hear them in the kitchen going on about how good the cookies were. lol So, keep the great recipes coming!!

  65. Sarah says:

    I’m w/you- Don’t like using shortening in cookies, cakes or pie crust. Not good for the old ticker. So, while others enjoy, I too, shall be holding a warm, sleeping dog in my lap and reading a good book.

  66. kandi victorino says:

    I would rather love on that sweet baby too! But I will just make the cookies instead and try to steal a hug from my 13 yr old. 🙂

  67. Kim in MD says:

    I love snickerdoodles (I hope we can still be friends!), and this recipe is almost identical to the recipe my grandmother passed down to me. The only difference is my grandmother’s recipe uses 1 cup or margarine. I am excited to try this recipe with the shortening, even though I normally don’t like to bake with it. I imagine it makes the cookies really soft and chewy, which is what you want in a good snickerdoodle. You and CI’s have never let me down, so I know this will be an awesome cookie! Thanks, Mel! Enjoy your snuggle time with that precious baby girl!

  68. These are one of my favs. So classic and delicious!

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